(10th B. Clifford)

Born: 1454

Died: 23 Apr 1523/4

Father: John CLIFFORD (9º B. Clifford)

Mother: Margaret VISCY

Married 1: Anne St. JOHN (B. Clifford) ABT 1486, Skipton, York, England


1. Henry CLIFFORD (1º E. Cumberland)

2. Edward CLIFFORD (b. ABT 1495)

3. Thomas CLIFFORD (Sir Knight)


5. Eleanor CLIFFORD

6. Elizabeth CLIFFORD

7. Margaret CLIFFORD

8. Mabel CLIFFORD (C. Southampton)


10. Mary CLIFFORD (b. ABT 1503)

Married 2: Florence PUDSEY (B. Clifford) (b. ABT 1484 - d. 23 Apr 1553) (dau. of Henry Pudsey and Margaret Conyers) (w.1 of Sir Thomas Talbot - m.3 Richard Grey)


11. Dorothy CLIFFORD



John Clifford was know for his hatred of the Yorkists and following his death at the battle of Towton his wife, Margaret, feared greatly for the safety of her two sons and she sent them into hiding to protect them from the wraith of the Yorkists. Richard, the youngest son, supposedly went to the Low Countries, where he shortly afterwards died. But Henry, the elder, only seven years old, and heir to his father's titles and estates, was either never taken out of England; or, if he were, he speedily returned, and was placed by his mother at Londesborough, in Yorkshire, with a trustworthy shepherd, the husband of a young woman who had been under-nurse to the boy whom she was now to adopt as her foster-son. Their mother was closely and peremptorily examined about them. She said, 'She had given direction to convey them beyond sea, to be bred up there; and that being thither sent, she was ignorant whether they were living or not'. Henry remained there until he was 14 and to maintain the secret he was not educated. That year a rumour reached the court of his being still alive and in England. Happily Lady Clifford had a friend at court, who forewarned her that the King had received an intimation of her son's place of concealment. With the assistance of her then husband, Sir Lancelot Threlkeld, Lady Clifford instantly removed 'the honest shepherd with his wife and family into Cumberland,' where he took a farm near the Scottish Borders. Here, though his mother occasionally held private communications with him, the young Lord Clifford passed fifteen years more, disguised and occupied as a common shepherd; and had the mortification of seeing his Castle and Barony of Shipton in the hands of his adversary, Sir William Stanley; and his Barony of Westmoreland possessed by the Duke of Gloucester, the king's brother.

Henry VII defeated Richard III at Bosworth and Henry, the Shepherd Lord, now thirty-one years old, was restored to his estates and titles. Henry VII knighted him and he was summoned to Parliament from Sep 1485. He was also present with the King forces at Stoke. He was appointed commissioner of array against the Scots and in May 1486 he was made Steward of Middleton and employed to receive the remaining Yorkist rebels to allegiance.

Henry assisted the Earl of Surrey in the relief of Norham Castle. He fought at Flodden in Sep 1513, he was one of the principal leaders, and brought to the field a numerous retinue, and even brought home to Skipton Castle some Scottish ordnance. He lent Henry VIII money for the French campaign in 1522 but he was too old to go himself.

Having regained his property and position, he immediately began to repair his castles and improve his education. He quickly learnt to write his own name; and, to facilitate his studies, built Barden Tower, near Bolton Priory, that he might place himself under the tuition of some learned monks there, and apply himself to astronomy, and other favourite sciences of the period.

His training as a warrior had been equally defective. Instead of being practised from boy-hood to the use of arms and the feats of chivalry, as was common with the youth of his own station, he had been trained to handle the shepherd's crook, and tend, and fold, and shear his sheep. Yet scarcely had he emerged from his obscurity and quiet pastoral life, when we find him become a brave and skilful soldier,—an able and victorious commander. He died on 23 Apr 1523. By his first wife Anne St. John, cousin to Henry VII, he left two sons, including Henry, his heir; and many daughters  

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